Village of Great Neck Plaza, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 225-105 Permit required; fee. [1]

A. 
Permit.
[Amended 7-6-1988 by L.L. No. 6-1988]
(1) 
Except as hereinafter provided, no sign, attracting device or design unit subject to a design development plan may be erected, altered or reconstructed (except for normal maintenance) without a permit from the Village Board of Trustees. Such permit may be granted only after compliance with the requirements applicable to such sign, device, facility or unit and after receipt of a design report in accordance with the provisions of § 225-106. Applications for such a permit shall be made on forms provided by the Village Board of Trustees, together with such other information, such as photographs and drawings, as are reasonably necessary to establish compliance with the provisions of this Article XIII including any required design review.
(2) 
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Village Board of Trustees may deny a permit for any sign or attracting device which, in its reasonable judgment, is misleading and dangerous. A sign or attracting device is misleading and dangerous, within the meaning of this chapter, if, by reason of the physical composition of the sign or device or by reason of verbal or visual contents of the sign or device, there is created a substantial risk that different sites, locations and addresses within the Village would be subject to misidentification and that emergency services (including providers of police, fire, medical and ambulance services) would thereby be impeded in the efficient performance of their duties.
B. 
Permit fees. At the time any application for a sign permit is made under this article, the fee of $100 shall be paid to the Village Clerk.
[Amended 4-15-1992 by L.L. No. 2-1992; 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Section 1, entitled "Definitions," which immediately preceded this section, was deleted 6-19-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996. For current definitions, see § 225-2.

§ 225-106 Design review and report.

A. 
Before a permit for a sign or attracting device is granted by the Board of Trustees, the permit application shall be referred to the Building Inspector for a report.
B. 
The Building Inspector shall examine the application to determine if the proposed sign is in conformity with the provisions of this article and shall report his findings to the Board of Trustees at a regular monthly meeting.

§ 225-107 Signs.

A. 
Nonresidential signs. Except as otherwise provided in an applicable design development plan, all signs in a nonresidential use zoning district or in a residential zoning district but appurtenant to a nonresidential use (except as otherwise hereinafter provided) shall meet the following general requirements:
(1) 
Sign top height.
(a) 
Signs for a design unit shall have a sign top height no higher than the lowest of the following:
[1] 
Fifteen feet above the curbline.
[2] 
The bottom of the sills of the first level of windows above the first story.
[3] 
The lowest roofline of the building.
(b) 
Where deemed appropriate, the Board of Trustees may vary the provision of this Subsection A(1) to allow it to determine the sign top height. When, because of the unique design, location, surrounding, grade or historical quality of the design unit, the Board finds it would be desirable to increase the sign top height, it may do so at its sole discretion.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Figure 5, regarding sign top height, is included at the end of this chapter.
(2) 
Permitted exterior sign area for street-level signs. Street-level signs for a design unit shall together not exceed the permitted sign area. All street-level signs for a design unit shall have a total sign area of no more than 1.25 square feet for each foot of building frontage, with such sign area allocated on the basis of storefront footage.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
(3) 
Permitted interior sign area for street-level signs. In accordance with the provisions of Subsection A(2) of this section, the number and size of street-level signs on or behind a window or a door constituting part of such total sign area shall be limited to 10% of the window area but in no event to exceed 10 square feet in area. Paper signs shall not be permitted, and any sale sign shall be governed by the provisions set forth in § 225-109B of this article.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
(4) 
Signs above street level. Signs for an occupancy above street level shall be governed by the provisions of § 225-110K of this article.
(5) 
Vertical dimension. Signs for a design unit shall have a vertical dimension no greater than two feet three inches.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
(6) 
Overall dimensions. In no event shall any sign exceed 20 feet in length or contain an area in excess of 42 square feet.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. 1-2006]
(7) 
Building relation. Signs for a design unit shall be attached on its entire surface to the face of a building or within a door or window of a building.
(8) 
Projection. Signs for a design unit shall, unless on a canopy or awning, project outward no more than 12 inches from the plane or the surface to which it is attached except as may be authorized by the Board of Trustees pursuant to the requirements of § 225-110 of this article.
(9) 
Plane. Signs for a design unit shall, unless on an awning, be parallel to the plane of the building face.
(10) 
Motion. Signs for a design unit shall not contain or consist of moving parts or intermittent light, excluding traditional barber poles.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
(11) 
Illumination. Internally illuminated neon signs and exposed neon signs shall be permitted only if a special permit is authorized by the Board of Trustees as set forth in § 225-110.
(12) 
Color. Signs for a design unit shall use no more than three colors (with black and white considered colors), none of which may be fluorescent or Day-Glo colors.
(13) 
Compatibility. The color and design of any sign shall not be excessively dissimilar to the facade and other signs located on the building as well as the facade and signs of neighboring buildings.
(14) 
Content. The content of a sign may display only the name and address of the occupant of the premises and, in no more than three words, may also identify the nature of the service or business. A sign may also contain one logo or other symbol, provided that the sign area enclosing the logo or other symbol may not occupy more than 10% of the allowable sign area of the entire sign.
(15) 
Number of signs. The number of signs on a design unit, whether on an interior or corner lot or with frontage on one street or more, shall be limited to one exterior mounted sign and one interior mounted sign meeting the provisions of this § 225-107, except that a sign mounted on a canopy erected pursuant to § 225-110B(1) shall be exempt from this provision. By special permit, a design unit located on a corner lot, which has frontage on more than one street, may be granted one additional exterior sign when authorized by the Board of Trustees pursuant to the provisions set forth in § 225-110M of this article.
[Amended 1-3-1990 by L.L. No. 1-1990]
(16) 
Projected light and/or projected images. No system and/or equipment which conveys, projects or illuminates a symbol or image is permitted.
[Added 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
B. 
Residential signs. No sign appurtenant to a residential use in any residential district shall be allowed except signs that display only the name, address or profession of the occupant of the premises. Such signs shall be no larger than one square foot in sign area, shall not be illuminated (unless a professional sign with the approval of the Board of Trustees), and shall otherwise conform to the sign top height, motion, illumination and color requirements of Subsection A. Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, such signs shall be exempt from any permit requirements except as otherwise stated herein.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]

§ 225-108 Attracting devices.

[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
Attracting devices shall be permitted for a newly opened store, on a one-time basis, for a period not to exceed seven days, and must be approved by the Village Commissioner of Public Services. Except as otherwise provided in an applicable design development plan, all other attracting devices shall be permitted only by special permit as hereinafter provided in § 225-110. In any event, no attracting device shall contain or consist of moving parts or intermittent light.

§ 225-109 Exemptions.

No permit is required for the following signs or attracting devices:
A. 
Real estate signs. Signs in any use district advertising the sale, lease or rental of the premises upon which the sign is located. Such sign must have a sign area of no more than two square feet, to be removed as soon as the premises are sold, leased or rented and otherwise to conform to the requirements of § 225-107A.
B. 
Sale signs. Signs in any nonresidential district or appurtenant to a nonresidential use in a residential district advertising special sales or events which may be displayed for a period not in excess of 14 days. Sale signs shall meet the following criteria:
(1) 
No sign may exceed three square feet in area.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
(2) 
One sign is permitted for each display window of a design unit.
(3) 
The sign may not advertise particular products but shall be limited in legend to "Sale," "Spring Sale," etc.
C. 
Construction signs. Signs temporarily erected during construction or alteration of the design unit. Such signs shall have a sign area of no more than 15 feet, be removed as soon as the work is complete and otherwise conform to the requirements of § 225-107A.
D. 
Political signs. Political signs incident to an election, such signs to be displayed no more than 60 days prior to the day of election and to be removed within five days after the election and to not be attached to a tree, post, utility pole or fence and not placed to obstruct vision of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Such sign must conform to all requirements of § 225-107A, except that the permitted sign area shall be 50% greater than that which is otherwise permitted.
E. 
Charge card signs. A sign, decal or placard affixed on or behind a window or door of a first-story retail store which notifies the public of the acceptance of charge cards, such sign, decal or placard not to exceed six inches by six inches each in dimension and not to number more than five per design unit.
F. 
Price placard. A placard, not to exceed six inches by six inches in size, which shall advertise only the price of the merchandise or goods to which it is attached or affixed.
G. 
Bulletin boards. Each design unit located on the first story of a building shall be permitted to erect one bulletin board behind the show window on which may be displayed sale items and specials or, in the case of a restaurant, a menu. Such bulletin board shall not exceed six square feet in area and shall be framed. Day-Glo colors will not be permitted either for the bulletin board or the placards placed on it. The bulletin board may not be internally illuminated. One bulletin board shall be allowed for each full 20 feet of design unit street frontage.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
H. 
Signs for professional office above street level. A professional office located in a building above street level shall be permitted, if the landlord so permits, to have a sign on the entry door of the building or on the pier adjacent to the entry door of the building, provided that such sign does not project more than three inches from the building, is nonilluminated and does not exceed one square foot in area.
[Amended 1-3-1990 by L.L. No. 1-1990]

§ 225-110 Special permit.

The Board of Trustees, in appropriate cases, after receipt of a design report and recommendation by the Building Inspector, may, by resolution, permit the following signs or attracting devices, subject to appropriate safeguards consistent with the purposes of this article:
A. 
Ground signs. For each building in a nonresidential district or any nonresidential building in a residential district, which is set back more than 10 feet from the front property line, one ground-mounted sign no closer to the street line than the inside edge of the property line, such sign to otherwise conform to the requirements of § 225-107A, provided that any such sign may not exceed eight square feet in area.
B. 
Signs in shopping centers and malls.
(1) 
For each shopping center in a nonresidential district when more than 50% of its building frontage is set back more than 10 feet from the front property line, one triple-faced ground-mounted sign meeting the following criteria:
(a) 
Any such sign shall be located no closer to the street than the inside edge of the front property line in such a manner as to not obstruct a driver's view of a vehicular access driveway or street intersection.
(b) 
The face of any such sign shall have a maximum vertical dimension not to exceed five feet, and the maximum height from the top of the sign to the ground shall be 15 feet.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
(c) 
The maximum area of any such sign shall not exceed 25 square feet.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
(d) 
The informational material contained on any such sign shall be limited to an identification of the shopping center and a group sign with the names of the stores located within any enclosed mall which is a part of such shopping center.
(e) 
Any such sign shall otherwise conform to the requirements of § 225-107A of this article.
(2) 
Signs for retail stores above the street level, within fully enclosed shopping malls, shall be treated as street level signs using the criteria set forth in § 225-107A of this article, and all such signs shall conform to the provisions set forth therein, with the exception that the Board of Trustees, at its sole discretion, may, where it deems appropriate, vary the provisions of § 225-107A(7) to allow the mounting of the sign at a location other than as specified therein.
C. 
Multiresidential signs. For each apartment or condominium or cooperative building in a residential district one ground-mounted or wall sign to identify such building, such sign to have a sign area of no more than 0.2 square feet for each foot of building frontage and to otherwise conform to the requirements of § 225-107A. In no event shall the total area of all such signs exceed 10 square feet.
D. 
Projecting signs. Wall-mounted, double-faced projecting signs and three-dimensional symbols, models or representations not extending more than four feet from the face of the building to which it is attached. Such signs shall have a maximum horizontal dimension of three feet and a maximum vertical dimension of three feet, with a bottom height no lower than eight feet above the sidewalk grade, and shall otherwise conform to the requirements of § 225-107A of this article.
E. 
Attracting devices, except as otherwise provided in § 225-108.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
F. 
Special identification signs. Signs on or behind windows to identify occupants of buildings which occupants lack storefront footage within such building, such signs to conform to all the requirements of § 225-107A except the sign top requirement.
G. 
Special entrance signs. Signs indicating side or rear entrance to stores or buildings, such signs to be no more than two square feet in sign area and otherwise conform to all the requirements of § 225-107A except the permitted sign area requirement.
H. 
Neon signs, exposed neon signs and LED signs.
[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
I. 
Signs for retailers service business without window space. A building with any retail service business without window space may have, at the front entrance of the building in a single location, a sign or signs identifying each such retailer service business. Said sign or signs shall comply with all the requirements of § 225-107A, provided that the total area of each sign or signs (taken collectively) may not exceed 10% of the total area permitted for exterior street level signs.
[Amended 1-3-1990 by L.L. No. 1-1990]
J. 
Canopies and awnings. Canopies and retractable and permanent awnings, whether pole mounted, suspended or hung from the building. The lowest fixed part of any canopy or awning shall be a minimum of seven feet above the sidewalk surface. All canopy and awning lights shall be concealed and may be used only to illuminate the sidewalk and any stencil-cut sign on the awning flaps but not the canopy or awning itself. All lettering and other informational material on a canopy or awning shall be considered a street level sign whose sign area shall be calculated in accordance with the provisions of § 225-107 of this chapter. The placement of signage on the awning shall be limited to the vertical flaps on the face and ends of the canopy or awning. No canopy or awning, together with the lettering contained thereon, shall use more than two colors (with black and white considered colors), none of which may be fluorescent or Day-Glo colors. The color and design of any canopy or awning shall not be excessively dissimilar to the building's facade and signs, as well as the signs and facades of neighboring buildings.
K. 
Signs above street level.
[Amended 12-4-1991 by L.L. No. 12-1991]
(1) 
"Street level story" or "street level," as used herein, shall mean the lowest story of any building which is more than 50% above the street curb grade.
(2) 
In buildings having one or more stories above the street level story, signs shall be permitted only at the street level story of the building and at the story immediately above it.
(3) 
Any sign above the street level story of a building shall require a special permit from the Board of Trustees.
(4) 
The Board of Trustees shall issue a special permit for a sign above street level only upon a showing of unusual and particular need by reason of location or by reason of the nature of the business. Application for such a special permit shall be made on forms provided by the Village and shall be accompanied by such other information, such as photographs and drawings, as is reasonably necessary to establish compliance with the provisions of this Article XIII, including any required design review. However, such special permits, when issued, shall comply with the following specifications:
(a) 
Only nonilluminated signs shall be permitted.
(b) 
Signs for businesses with less than 20 feet of street frontage shall be mounted behind or shall be painted on the back face of a window facing the street and shall use letters with no background. No more than 15% percent of the window area, with a maximum of 10 square feet, shall be occupied by any such sign. Where a single occupancy has more than one window facing the street, only one window may be sign area occupied by a sign, with the calculation of sign area based on that single window alone.
(c) 
Signs for businesses which have a street frontage on a public street in excess of 20 feet may, where deemed appropriate at the sole discretion of the Board of Trustees, be permitted an exterior mounted sign using pinned-on individual letters applied directly to the building face without a background, such signs to occupy no more than 10 square feet in area.
(5) 
All signs above street level that were permitted prior to the effective date of this Subsection K but that became prohibited by reason of the provisions of this Subsection K shall either be removed or issued a special permit under Subsection K(3) and (4) on or before May 31, 1992.
(6) 
Notwithstanding anything contained herein, the Board of Trustees shall, after a public hearing, have the authority to grant, on such terms and conditions as it deems appropriate, exemptions from the provisions of this Subsection K to any sign which is of community, historical or cultural significance.
L. 
Parking facility signs. For each parking facility, one sign at each vehicular entranceway to such facility which shall set forth the rules and regulations pertaining to the operation of the parking facility, such sign not to exceed nine square feet in area and in all other respects to conform to the requirements of § 225-107A of this Article. Internal directional and movement signs within the parking facility shall comply with the requirements of the New York State Manual of Uniform Traffic Devices. A complete plan of parking field entrance and directional signs shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees for its approval.
M. 
Tree-obstructed signs. If the Board determines that the view by the public of any sign otherwise authorized pursuant to the provisions of this Article XIII is or would be, at the time of the application for a special permit under this subsection, actually and substantially obstructed by reason of the growth of a tree owned by the Village and located on the public streets or sidewalks of the Village, and if the Board determines that such tree has been properly pruned and maintained and that such obstruction could not be eliminated or sufficiently reduced except by measures that would substantially damage the tree or would render such tree asymmetrical in terms of height and fullness vis-a-vis surrounding trees, then the Village Board, in its sole discretion, may grant a special permit, for purposes of compensating for such loss of public view, authorizing the erection or maintenance of a sign providing equivalent public view even if such sign fails to conform to the otherwise applicable requirements of this article in design, size, mounting, location or otherwise. No sign or proposed sign shall be considered substantially obstructed within the meaning of this chapter unless at least 50% of such sign or proposed sign is or would be blocked from public view.
[Added 10-19-1988 by L.L. No. 9-1988]
N. 
Additional exterior sign for design units on corner lots. Design units located on a corner lot with frontage on two streets may be permitted an additional exterior sign, provided that said sign complies with all of the provisions of § 225-107 of this article. The area of any such sign shall be included in the total permitted exterior sign area as set forth in § 225-107A(2) of this article.
[Added 1-3-1990 as L.L. No. 1-1990]
O. 
Retail business with building frontage in excess of 60 linear feet. Each retail business under single ownership with a total building frontage (as defined in this chapter) exceeding 60 linear feet may exceed the maximum permitted exterior signage requirements set forth in § 225-107A, provided that:
[Added 4-15-1992 by L.L. No. 3-1992]
(1) 
The total number of exterior mounted signs shall not exceed one for each 30 linear feet of street frontage.
(2) 
All exterior mounted signs shall be affixed to the face of the building occupied by the retail business or to the face of a contiguous building, provided that such contiguous building is held under the same ownership as the affected premises.
(3) 
One exterior mounted sign shall be permitted to have an overall height up to 25 feet above grade.
(4) 
The signs shall, in all other respects, conform to the provisions of § 225-107A of this article.

§ 225-111 Limitation on nonconformity.

[Amended 10-18-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
A. 
Any sign or attracting device which is to be placed on a design unit after the effective date of this chapter must conform to its provisions and be the subject of a permit issued hereunder unless otherwise excepted.
B. 
Any sign or attracting device existing on the effective date of this chapter, which conforms to the applicable provisions of this article in effect prior to such date, and which has received a permit (if necessary) for such sign or attracting device prior to such date, but which is made nonconforming by the provisions of this chapter, shall be deemed to be a legal nonconforming sign.
C. 
Any sign or attracting device existing on the effective date of this chapter which conforms to the applicable provisions of this article in effect prior to such date, but which is made nonconforming by the provisions of this chapter, and which did not receive a permit for such sign or attracting device necessary prior to such date, shall, within 30 days of the effective date of this chapter, submit an application for a permit for such sign or attracting device. The Board of Trustees shall have the discretion to determine whether to evaluate such signs under the applicable provisions in effect before or after the effective date of this chapter. In making such determination, the Board shall take into consideration all relevant facts, including but not limited to the cost of bringing the sign or attracting device into conformity with the provisions of this chapter; the reason why no permit was previously obtained; the degree and nature of nonconformity; and the duration of the period of nonconformity.
D. 
Any sign or attracting device existing on the effective date of this chapter, which does not conform to applicable provisions of this article in effect prior to such date, shall be subject to the applicable provisions of this article in effect after the effective date of this chapter. Any such sign or attracting device must be the subject of a permit application within 30 days after the effective date of this chapter, and any such nonconforming sign or attracting device shall be brought into compliance with the provisions of this article within 90 days after the effective date of this chapter, unless such period is extended by the Board of Trustees. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, the Board of Trustees shall, after a public hearing, have the authority to grant, on such terms and conditions as it deems appropriate, exemptions from the provisions of this section to any sign which is of community, historical or cultural significance.
E. 
In achieving conformity, the location of any previously existing sign must be made to conform in color, plane and texture to the surrounding building area if it remains visible after being replaced by a new sign.
F. 
Any sign now or hereafter existing which no longer advertises a bona fide business conducted, product sold or activity or service being conducted shall be taken down and removed by the owner, agent or person having the beneficial use of the building, structure or lot upon which such sign may be found within 30 days of such cessation. Upon failure to comply within the time specified, the Village Commissioner of Public Services is hereby authorized to order removal of such sign, within 30 days of a written notification, and expenses incident thereto shall be paid by the owner of the building, structure or lot to which such sign is attached.

§ 225-112 Maintenance of signs and attracting devices.

A. 
All signs and attracting devices, including, but not limited to, canopies and awnings, shall be maintained in a clean and sightly condition. Torn, color-faded, worn, broken or otherwise soiled or damaged materials shall be restored or replaced so as to maintain the sign or attracting device in its original condition. All structural elements of a sign or attracting device, including, but not limited to, electrical and lighting components, shall be maintained in good working order and in a safe and sightly condition.
B. 
Any defect that exists under the provisions of this section shall be remedied within 10 business days of a written directive from the Building Inspector to correct any such defect.

§ 225-113 Illustration disclaimer.

The illustrations contained in the figures in this article are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be viewed as regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Figures 1 through 5, which are included at the end of this chapter.